Galway United made it three wins from four as their second half performance and a Vinny Faherty brace was enough to see off hosts Wexford Youths on a cold, but good evening for football in the South East.
In a lively first half at Ferrycarrig Park, it was Wexford who had the best of the opening exchanges, as United were slow to grow into the match.
Good interplay from Paul Murphy and Andy Mulligan saw Wexford create an early chance, but the latter was denied one-on-one by Conor Winn.
Later, Mulligan played an inviting cross, but Murphy who was closest, couldn’t get on the end of it.
A Marc Ludden long throw set Vinny Faherty away, which he latched onto, before smashing it goalward on his left. Graham Doyle produces a good save and Danny Ledwith cleared the danger.
A free-kick from Ryan Connolly was swung in from the left, which was met my Faherty, but he didn’t get enough on it to trouble the Youths’ goal.
Galway United defender Stephen Folan who had picked up a knock, was unable to continue and was replaced by former Wexford Youths player Killian Cantwell in the 23rd minute.
Later in the first half, Ludden set Cunningham away but Graham Doyle was quick to see the danger. Paul Murphy had a chance of his own for the Youths when he spotted Winn off his line, but his effort cleared the crossbar.
Shortly after the restart, Colm Horgan and Gary Shanahan combined, before Horgan crossed in for Vinny Faherty, but it cleared the Youths’ goal. The frontman wasn’t to be denied however.
Five minutes into the second half, United were awarded a free kick on the left. Captain Ryan Connolly delivered it excellently into the box and it was Vinny Faherty who rose to meet it, directing it into the far corner and out of the keeper’s reach.
The Youths tried to hit back five minutes later, with Paul Murphy getting the better of Paul Sinnott, before flashing across Winn’s goal, but there was nobody there to finish it off.
United had a chance to double their advantage when Gary Shanahan crossed for Cunningham, but his headed effort was wide of the mark.
As the midway point of the second half approached Cunningham had another chance to get on the scoresheet. On the turn, he unleashed a volley at goal and Graham Doyle had to be at full stretch to push it away with the tip of his gloves.
On 69 minutes, the away side doubled their lead, taking advantage of a set piece once again. A long range free kick was delivered into the box by Ryan Connolly, who had been the catalyst for United’s second half performance. Vinny Faherty rose to meet Connolly’s free under much pressure but was able to power a header into the net, completing his brace and getting his seventh league goal of the season.
Fifteen minutes from time, John Sullivan almost put United 3-0 up when he crashed a shot off the bar from just inside the box.
In the closing stages, Ruairi Keating was introduced for Padraic Cunningham. Keating threatened the home goal in injury time, as his attempt to square it across the box threatened to cause problems, but Wexford were able to clear.
The win pushes United back up to third place, with the visit of Longford Town to Eamonn Deacy Park to come on Friday.
Wexford Youths: Doyle ©, McCabe, G. Delaney, Mulligan, Molloy, Kenny, Bonner, Friel (Whittle 79), Murphy, Ledwith, Last
Galway United: Winn; Horgan, Sinnott, Folan (Cantwell 23), Walsh; Shanahan, Sullivan, Connolly ©, Ludden; Cunningham (Keating 84), Faherty
Referee: Mr. Adriano Reale
Attendance: 400 (estimate)